It is a type of marketing that takes place on social media platforms. As you would expect, this notion includes a wide variety of activities that have only social media in common. So if you want to promote a blog or organize a recruitment campaign, and if it is done in connection with Facebook or Twitter, it is because of social media marketing.
Should you be doing social media marketing?
Social media marketing has become a must for all kinds of businesses and organizations. Social media gives you access to a large audience through free or paid advertising, an audience that you can shape and develop yourself.
Of course, in reality, all this is not really “free”. Indeed, someone is supposed to spend some time posting on social platforms, but it is possible to work miracles even by devoting very limited time to it.
The bottom line is that social media marketing offers vast opportunities for most businesses, even if it’s not just about posting a few messages for sales to increase.
How can I benefit from social media marketing?
As we said, there are many strategies, and the results depend on which ones you adopt. Here is an overview of the main benefits of social media marketing:
It provides the business with fast customer service for users located around the world.
It creates new opportunities to sell and promote your products. It promotes your brand and retains your customers. It allows you to promote your own content in order to reach new users, without breaking the bank. It communicates your corporate culture and facilitates the recruitment process.
Where to start?
The first thing to do is to define your approach by drawing up a list of objectives to be achieved. As we said before, your approach to social media will depend entirely on your company.
For example, a company that has a product for sale and a charity will develop different approaches. In general, here are the ideas that a business and a non-profit organization might have.
Audit your social media presence
First, take stock of your current location. If you have no social channels, that’s fine – the audit is over and you can get started.
Otherwise, whatever your position in the company, you will want to know:
- On which channels you are active.
- What if some channels work much better, or worse than others?
- What types of posts have and haven’t worked in the past?
- Is the audience following you relevant to your business?
- What if some channels need to be cleaned? This can be the case to get rid of irrelevant or outdated content (this is a recurring problem with YouTube).
What you shouldn’t post
There are many examples of companies, big or small, who tweet an inappropriate message and bite their fingers. Whether it’s a bad joke from a badly worded opinion, social media can be a double-edged sword if one is not careful.
There are no exact rules on the type of posts to avoid. Again, it depends on you and your business. Humorous web pages can be as offbeat as they want, they always fall on their feet even when they push the plug too far. This is not necessarily the case with your company.
Think about the style of your brand. Nothing prevents you from posting jokes and memes, as long as it is relevant to you and your audience. Social media is sometimes the scene of small provocations, but often the game is not worth the candle. Sit back and meditate on the following. Make sure that the person who writes your posts is fully aware of the reputation the company has built and wants to maintain. Make a list of topics to ban. And do not set in stone the operation of your customer service, in order to keep a good flexibility of reaction. Also, don’t just spam your followers by sending them links to buy your products. We don’t go on Twitter to shop there, even if that doesn’t mean we don’t have fun every once in a while.
There is nothing wrong with posting a few sales posts here and there, but think about your message. Sharpen the public’s curiosity about your product rather than putting it under their noses all the time hoping that they will take out their credit card.
Understanding the platforms
We are not going to review all platforms, it’s up to you to find out what works and how. The formulas are multiple, just like the audiences. A good word can hit Twitter, but for LinkedIn, concrete messages based on specific advice are better.
Learn about the algorithms of the different platforms and spend a little time on each of them to get an idea of how they work. Personalize your messages as it should be to get better engagement, higher traffic and sustained interest.
Set up an adapted customer service
Customer service deserves a chapter. Too often, companies undermine their reputation by not taking or making fun of social media complaints.
Social media gives us quick and easy access to businesses. No need to make a phone call, and no need to go to the Post Office. Just go to their Facebook page to complain – and everyone has access to the result. Nothing to do with what was done before.
The relationship with your audience is essential. Of course, the complaint may be unfair and unfounded, but you still need to engage with users in a professional manner.
Build a community organically
This is one of the hardest things to achieve if you are not a large, recognized brand. There is no simple method, but rather a panoply of various means.
You will have to be patient. Take your time and do it according to the rules of the art: you will end up having an audience that really engages with you.
Here are some steps to follow first:
Create content that people are likely to share and that will be seen by users beyond your network.
- Be a useful referent for people who use your products and services.
- Let users know, via other means of communication, that you are present on social channels.
- Talk about the content of others, not just your own, and build relationships with them.
- Always stay interesting or useful.
Paid social advertising
It’s the main course, with companies spending billions of dollars around the world reaching their audiences through Twitter, Facebook and others. Moreover, concerning Facebook, it should be noted that certain organizations which took advantage of their advertising platform to influence the political opinions of users are currently in the spotlight.
But don’t be put off. The pressure is increasing to make social platforms more open and transparent in their functioning, and as long as you follow the rules and do things properly, everything will be fine.
Paid social media ads are not much different from conventional ads. It is always a question of targeting a specific segment of the population via a message intended for them. The only difference is that you can use the data collected on social media to build 100% personalized target audiences.
Calendars and programming
Another element to take into account is your frequency of publication. This largely depends on your strategy and the type of positions you will create.
For example, some content publishers publish a lot because they are constantly creating new stories and articles, and they know their followers are on the lookout for this kind of content.
For a business, it’s a little different. It is very possible that you do not produce content regularly, but do not believe that posting on Twitter all day long is an obligation. Users quickly get tired of seeing the same press release loop.
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